Category Archive: Marketing, Networking & Social Media

What You Need to Know to Master the Art of Business Networking

The first business networking meetings that I attended were something of a disaster for me. I’m naturally an introvert and am somewhat claustrophobic. Add in the ‘fun’ of being overweight, and it can make moving about in a crowd something… weird. To say that I was a hot mess navigating every networking meeting would probably be something of an understatement.

business networking

 

I realized that as part of doing business, I needed to master this skill. And being the logical person I am (some of you are probably laughing at that statement, admit it), I decided to put together a protocol and mental checklist for how to handle those business networking meetings.

I quickly realized I needed to carry business cards everywhere I go. That part was easy. I started experimenting with my 30- and 60-second introductions of who I am and what I do. Check.  

Next up was learning how to navigate a room filled with – GASP! – people.  

Did you know that you don’t actually have to talk to all 50 people in the room? Nor should you actively try to. You might roll your eyes at that one, but it was a big discovery for me. I already knew I shouldn’t try to talk to any single person for very long, but switching between groups was awkward to say the least.  

Add in the fear of “What if they don’t like me?”. Sweaty palms. UGH! Sweaty palms at a networking meeting are no good. Calm down. Breathe. Change how I think.  

business networkingI figured out how to consider it a successful business networking event for me. I decided that if I was able to talk to 3-5 people in 15 minutes and have a couple minutes of conversation with each one, I was good. Bonus points for setting up one or more 1:1 meetings with people for after the meeting.   

I had my little checklist and could do that. I’m a rule follower, so if I create my own little rule book, I’m good.

Flipping my thinking on its head has helped big time.   

Rather than going into a room and thinking, “What if they don’t like me?”, I think “Gosh, lots of new potential business partners. I wonder which ones will be the best ones”. So I started treating it as both a relationship building exercise and as an opportunity to interview and find the best of the best. In order to grow my business, I needed to find the right people who could refer potential clients to me. I also needed to find those people to whom I could confidently refer potential clients.

Once I started seeing business networking events as an opportunity to grow my business and relaxing about the whole thing, it got so much easier to use them effectively to make friends and get clients.

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Want to get more customers in your business? I’ve got just the opportunity for you!

Join us in Durham, NC, for my first ever business summit. At this live summit, on September 22-24, you’ll learn more about networking and how to grow your business. You’ll also have the opportunity to build some amazing relationships with other amazing entrepreneurs.  

For more details, please visit our Leadership Girl Live Summit page.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/master-art-business-networking/

The List of 100 Social Media Post Ideas

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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My business coaching and social media clients frequently tell me that they draw a blank when trying to come up with ideas for what to post on social media. Thus, I decided to come up with a list of 100 ideas for posts that you can use for your social media.

If you get stuck, refer to this list of social media post ideas to get yourself unstuck.

The List of 100 Social Media Post Ideas1-Post a picture of yourself.  Many people simply don’t post enough pictures of themselves. Our clients want to know what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.

2-Post about a holiday. Daysoftheyear.com is a great website with so many holidays and arcane options for holidays. There are almost always fabulous choices for holidays you can celebrate. From Blueberry Pancake day to National Sibling day, there are holidays galore in there.  

3-Post your blog posts.  If you’ve written blog posts, share them. You can and should share them over and over again on platforms like Twitter. You can also share them again on Facebook and LinkedIn, but you will need to spread out posting of the content over a period of time.

4-Create custom graphics using sites like Canva.com. You can put together quotes, memes and other little cute things. You can use photos and graphics provided by Canva or you can upload your own images.

5-Share your favorite or interesting videos that resonate with your audience.

6-Post pictures of your products or services.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to highlight what you’re selling.

7-Tell people what you are up to in your business.  

8-Ask questions about topics that are interesting to your audience.  Questions can be fun, silly, serious or that require thought.

9-Run a 3, 5 or 7 day goal-oriented challenge.  Give people a goal and have them work towards it. This can be a great audience building exercise, as people will want to learn more about your business. This works particularly well for coaches and entrepreneurs who work with clients.

10-Ask your audience to post a picture of themselves or their pets. Make it more interesting by proposing a theme. 

11-Share other people’s content.  This is called curated content and is an important part of showing your expertise. The more you can show that you are involved with the world around you, and are sharing resources, the more of an expert you will appear to be.

12-Guest appearances. If you appear on any other blogs, podcasts, tv shows, radio shows, or other media, share it with your followers.

13-Share your accomplishments and milestone achievements with your audience.  

14-Fill in the blank posts work well. For example, “If I could go anywhere on vacation for free it would be to _____”.

15-Polls.  Facebook has a built in poll feature. Usually I just prefer to ask a question – such as, “What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?”

16-Statistics or data.  People love to argue over statistics, but be careful what you post! I learned to check every statistic before I post because sometimes they are wrong. And people enjoy discovering that you were wrong and posting about it.  

17-Infographics.  You can easily create infographics on Canva.com. But there are so many really good infographics out there on Pinterest that can be shared as well. I particularly like sharing information on teenage driving safety and causes that I care about in addition to work-related posts.

18-Post beautiful pictures.  You can find lovely pictures on Pixabay and Pexels for free.  There are so many wonderful places that have images which are free for commercial use. Just be sure to read the rules on the website carefully. You don’t want to be guilty of copyright infringement.

19-Share your own artwork, poetry, or photography.  People want to get to know YOU, and sharing these can show a deeper, more meaningful side.

20-Link to a controversial blog post or topic you feel deeply about. Lately, I’ve been posting about equal pay.

21-TED Talks are frequently a good source of information, especially for entrepreneurs.

22-Ask your followers for feedback on products or services.  People love to give feedback, and beta-test products, services, websites, and even get a sneak peek at your books or videos.

23-Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration.  I keep Pinterest boards specifically for inspiration. You can make those boards either public or private. If you attribute the source correctly, this can be a gold mine of fun.  

24-Share valuable resources and tools.  There are many times that I actually refer people to other experts in the field who know more about a particular subject than I do.

25-Facebook Live or other videos get a lot of views and interaction.  You may find it difficult to get interaction on a business page, but you will be shocked at the number of views you end up getting.

26-Offer a free download – a free ebook, a free guide, a checklist.  That will help you build your email list while building your tribe’s loyalty.  

27-Ask people what they would like to see.  You may be surprised at the responses you get.

28-Profile an employee or a valued client.  By sharing who works with you, and who you work with, you will offer insights into your business and also help shine the spotlight on clients.

29-Case studies are powerful tools for education and empowerment.  Please share lots of great case studies to be used as educational content. We used them extensively at Duke University and I think that they are a phenomenal tool.

30-Ask for reviews or testimonials.  Most us need more reviews or testimonials on our social media pages or on Google. In fact, those reviews are worth their weight in gold.

31-Ask your fans to submit photos that you can feature on your social media.  Fan photos are fabulous, and the quality can be phenomenal.

32-Share a favorite book or a book that you’ve recently read.  Bonus points if you include a review and a link to it on Amazon. (Double bonus points if you leave a review on Amazon!)

33-Recommend your favorite products and services.  I send out an email periodically with links to the products and services that I use to run my business. I am an affiliate with some of them, and this gives me the opportunity to make a few dollars as well as recommend products and services that I stand behind.  

34-Post tips.  I have found that creating a list of tips in my social media scheduler (MeetEdgar.com) and having it post those periodically is great help. People love them, comment on them and share them. By creating a repository of those tips, I’ve got them for the long haul.

35-Share time management tips.  People appreciate learning more about how other business owners manage their time and how they’ve managed to become successful while building their business. By sharing this kind of information, you become even more of a great resource, and more human and real.

36-Collect quotes from other industry experts and post them on your website.

37-Start conversations with industry leaders.  You may not get an answer, but you should at least try.

38-Create photo collages.  You can use Canva or PicMonkey to create one.

39-Show ‘then and now’ photos.  People love to see what your first website looked like or where you were 5 years ago.  

40-Share comics or memes.  Show a bit of humor and people will love you. One of the best examples is George Takei. Millions of people follow him and share his hilarious, witty memes.

41-Recommend a colleague or associate.  By bringing visibility and attention to your colleagues you will help them grow your business, and they in turn will help you grow yours!

42-Share breaking industry news.  You can set alerts on Google to alert you when there is new news that affects your industry.  

43-Post inspirational videos from Youtube or Facebook.  There are so many fun, inspirational and educational videos — the hardest decision is where to start.

44-Ask people to guess or predict the results of major events.  This can be about who will win an election, or a sports match or tournament.

45-Ask True/False questions.  Or Fact/Fiction. You can use Snopes.com as a source of interesting urban legends.  

46-Share the latest news about your business.  Did your business just hit a major milestone? New employee? Share it, preferably with photos!  

47-Post coupons and links to someone else’s promotion or sale.  I find that telling people about sales and promotions gets them excited. (And who doesn’t love a good sale?)

48-Share some personal details.  I have people who I swear follow me for stories about my kids. It amuses them to see me get hit and held up by a certain child of mine who likes to shoot nerf bullets at me while I’m on Facebook Live. Obviously, you don’t want to overshare, but some details show that you’re more than just a business owner — that you’re a real person too.

49-Share stories about your company in the news. That tends to spark more news.

50-Look for opportunities to appear on podcasts as a guest.  Then once the show goes live, post that on your social media feeds.

51-Guest blog for other blogs and other news media sites. Then share these on your social media pages. You’ll generate great backlinks to your websites and buzz about your company.

52-Share awards that your company has won. Done properly, this helps build trust with your followers.

53-Hold a flash sale.  People love a good buy, and by running random sales, you will get them looking for more.

54-Share the latest industry research.  Do you have some studies or statistics you can share? (Bonus points if they become an infographic)

55-Give a shout out or thank you to your fans.  People will appreciate being acknowledged.

56-Give expert advice and information about a topic of interest to your followers.  This helps establish your reputation online.

57-Do a series of social media posts around a topic or theme.  I frequently put together a series of topics for a month or two or three that tie together. I also create custom graphics for all of the posts to tie them together.

58-Get employees or fans to guest post for you.  The more the better.

59-Interview guests on Facebook Live.  You can interview other industry experts, and in the process you’ll further establish your own credibility.

60-Do a video about a current event in your business on Facebook Live, YouTube or other format.

61-Create a compilation of industry news. Top 10 lists are always appreciated.

62-Create a list of books to read.  These can be industry-related or even books for enjoyment.

63-Support a cause or charity and encourage your audience to support the same cause.

64-Run a 3, 5 or 7 day self-improvement challenge.  As an example, you can challenge people to improve their health, organization, time management or some other aspect of their lives.

65-Host a give-away of something good.  Different social media platforms have different rules regarding contests, so you will need to make sure to comply with all applicable rules.

66-Pull out interesting points from your blog posts and share those.  You can link back to your original blog so that the readers get “the rest of the story”.

67-Make predictions about where the industry is headed.  

68-Post life hacks.  Just as there are many websites dedicated to Ikea hacks, take the opportunity to show novel and unexpected uses of your products in real life.

69-Link to comments on your blog that are particularly interesting or helpful.

70-Create FAQs to answer questions that you get asked a lot.

71-Share your story and back history with your audience.  People like to know where you’ve come from and what your background is.

72-Just as you share where you’ve come from, share where you see the your company going, as well as your vision.  

73-Share pertinent pieces of information or background on topics from your education.  For some, when we leave school we want to forget where we’ve been, but there are many extremely helpful resources or pieces of information that will be helpful to our readers.

74-Connect people to a helpful Facebook or LinkedIn group.  This is just another way for you to show your value and helpfulness.

75-Post a link to an old newsletter.

76-“Throwback Thursday”.  Post about something in the history of your company, whether it’s a picture of an old logo, website or story about the way things used to be.

77-Tell a funny story.  People love stories and anecdotes from our lives.  

78-Stalk your competitors – on social media, that is.  Look at what your competitors are sharing and find a way to do an even better job than they do.

79-Share (or post a link to) an employee biography.

80-Give an award for employee of the month.  Then share the information on social media.

81-Search Wikipedia for an interesting topic.  Add to the content and quote it on social media.

82-Answer a question on Quora – “A place to share knowledge and better understand the world”.

83-Answer questions you receive.  If someone has sent you a question, answer their question publicly as either a video response or in a mini blog post.

84-Share a funny commercial.

85-Run a photograph contest by asking viewers to submit photos to be voted on.

86-Share a great music video.

87-Write a post in Haiku format and challenge your readers to respond in Haiku.

88-Share your best time management tips learned as an entrepreneur.  We can all use more time and find better ways to manage our time.

89-Share a favorite piece of artwork.

90-Create a story and run that story thread through your business.  

91-Get a mascot and show pictures of the mascot in action.  I have a pink pig named “Oink”. I take photos of him taking a bath, getting into trouble in the kitchen, and more. My friend has a frog who drinks a lot of wine at her vineyard.

92-Post inspirational quotes from your favorite role models.  

93-Ask people to post a picture of their pets.  

94-Show a picture of your desk.  People are intrigued by our offices and desks. They may even agree to show you their desks. (My desk is always a pile of papers)

95-Post a “thank you” to your clients.  Let them know how much you appreciate each and every one of them.

96-Comment on world topics.  But be sensitive to the political climate – be sure to stop your posts and feeds if there is a significant world crisis or news event.

97-Give examples of what NOT to do.  Whether it’s fashion or how to cause yourself to be blacklisted by Google. A ‘what not to do’ tip can be extremely powerful.

98-Ask your audience what questions they would like answered.  You can structure your responses around their questions.

99-Conduct a live Q & A session.  Announce in advance when you will be available and show up to answer questions.

100-Promote your products and services lightly.  You should promote only once after every 10 or so other posts; the goal is to draw in customers. The reason I mention this last is because you should keep your business promotions to a minimum.



Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/definitive-list-social-media-post-ideas/

Can You Imagine a Place Where Women Exchange Ideas and Collaborate?

I imagine a world where women come together to grow their businesses. A world in which we learn and exchange knowledge for the greater good — where we collaborate and build the best versions of ourselves and our businesses.

collaborateI’ve been dreaming about bringing people together for a long time because I’ve learned that when we come together and collaborate, we are stronger and more productive. When we expand the pie, we all have more.

In part, these are the reasons I founded Leadership Girl. I saw a very real need for support, resources, collaboration, education, and funding for small woman-owned businesses.  Because we have different needs, goals and desires for our businesses.  

I know that it is possible to leverage our strengths together to really grow our businesses.  

Building a business can be a lonely exercise. People who don’t have their own business don’t understand the exhilaration of making a sale, gaining a customer, and also the desolation of losing one. They don’t understand that the world is an incredibly noisy place with people telling you that you MUST do ONE thing to be successful, that you have to follow exactly THIS PATH, and only then will you be successful beyond your wildest dreams. So you have to weed through the noise to determine who is being truthful and who is selling you a bill of goods.

That is why I created Leadership Girl — to give business owners, like you, solid, no-nonsense information — because I believe in straight shooting. That’s just who I am.

(Ask me about the time I went skeet shooting as a teenager and one of the men, after I soundly beat him, asked me, “don’t you have a tea party you need to go to?”)

I once sat in a room full of men and wondered where the women were. Why weren’t they getting the education, why weren’t they getting the promotions, where were their businesses? So many why’s and not enough answers.  

collaborateI decided to do something about it, and me being me, I don’t do anything by half measures. I decided that it would be an awesome time to start a business. So I got my url, started my blog and opened up my business.  

Fast forward a few years, and I’m starting to take the next, big, audacious steps. This year, in September, I’m running my first live business Summit, and I want you to come. I want you to show up, to network, to meet other serious powerhouses in business, and learn more about business. I want you to walk away with some new collaborations and ideas that you can implement in your business NOW to make it super successful.  

That’s exactly why I’m here… to help you become successful, to be the catalyst and change agent, and to provide the resources you need for your business.

Let’s do it together! Let’s change the world one woman at a time, because that’s the only way that real, concerted change has ever been made. By starting a movement with a goal.

In this case, the goal is to help us build the businesses and lives of our dreams, so that we can pay for preschool, dance lessons, or a trip to Disney World for our littlest princesses. (Or Karate tournaments for our warrior princesses.)

I would consider it an honor and a privilege to have you join me, and many other entrepreneurs, at the Leadership Girl Live Summit in September, 2017 — the first one ever.

Learn more about the Leadership Girl Live Summit here.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/women-exchange-ideas-collaborate/

100 Favorite Social Media Conversation Starters for Better Engagement

Getting the ball rolling on a conversation and getting people to engage on your social media accounts can be quite a challenge. It takes a variety of content such as helpful information, inspirational posts or a simple question. But so many people are left wondering what they should post to get engagement. After all, getting organic engagement can be THE Holy Grail for all social media marketers.

I’ve spent countless hours coming up with and building a list of conversation starters that would encourage people to respond to my posts in my Facebook Group and in my other social media accounts.

100 Favorite Social Media Conversation Starters for Better Engagement

Here are 100 of my favorite conversation starters for social media:

1. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

2. Toilet paper. Over or Under?

3. What is your favorite small, local business? Why?

4. If you could be a Disney Princess, which one would you be?

5. If you could have dinner with any person living or dead, who would it be?

6. How many languages do you speak (and which ones)?

7. How many schools did you attend while growing up?

8. What is your favorite TV show?

9. What was the last great movie you saw?

10. Do you give money to panhandlers?

11. What is your favorite restaurant?

12. How many hours of sleep did you get last night?

13. What did you study in college and what do you do now?

14. What is your favorite way to keep healthy?

15. What is the last random act of kindness you performed?

16. Would you rather sit or stand all day?

17. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

18. What one decision in your life would you go back and change?

19. Do you wear makeup?

20. Do you read your emails every day?

21. What one thing would you tell your 10 year old self?

22. What is your beverage of choice?

23. What is your go-to snack?

24. What part of the world are you in?

25. Have you ever gone skinny dipping?

26. What is your favorite Social Media platform?

27. When is the last time you ate out?

28. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

29. Dog lover or cat lover?

30. What is the last picture on your camera?

31. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

32. iPhone or Android?

33. Could you live without social media?

34. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what one thing would you want to have?

35. What is your biggest accomplishment?

36. What is the highest level of education you’ve achieved, and what was it?

37. How old were you when you learned to swim?

38. How old were you when you learned to ride a bike?

39. Do you eat pizza with your hands or with a fork and knife?

40. What is your favorite memory as a child?

41. Who is your favorite Disney Character, and why?

42. If you won the lottery, what would you do?

43. How many hours per week do you tend to work on average?

44. What is your favorite day of the week?

45. Post a recent photo of yourself.

46. How do you stand out from everyone else in your industry?

47. What is your superpower?

48. If you could go back and change one decision from the early stages of your business, what would it be and why?

49. What is your favorite breakfast?

50. Who is your idol?

51. Tell me what your business is in five words or less.

52. What is your absolute favorite food?

53. What one beauty product could you not live without?

54. When you were little, what did you dream about becoming when you grew up?

55. What is your favorite easy dinner?

56. If you had unlimited funds in life, would you still be in your business?

57. When you need to destress, what is your favorite go-to activity?

58. What is your most productive time of day?

59. What is your favorite form of self care?

60. Describe your favorite pair of shoes.

61. Do you have pets? If so, what kind?

62. What is your favorite way to relax?

63. What is your favorite holiday?

64. Chocolate or vanilla?

65. What are your best time management tips?

66. What is your favorite quote?

67. Who is your favorite author?

68. Who is your favorite movie director?

69. What is your current favorite song?

70. Do you listen to music while you work?

71. What is your favorite animal?

72. When is the last time you did something extra special for someone else?

73. Do you know how to drive a stick shift?

74. Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?

75. What is the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?

76. What do you do in your spare time?

77. If you had all of the time in the universe, what would you do?

78. Who do you most admire, and why?

79. What are your favorite business tools?

80. How much time per week do you spend on social media?

81. Do you have a TV in your bedroom?

82. Do you keep your cell phone with you in the bedroom at night?

83. What are you grateful for today?

84. What’s your usual bedtime?

85. If you suddenly found $47 and had to give it to someone else, who would you give it to and why?

86. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in your business, what would it be?

87. What is the last book you read?

88. What is your favorite blog?

89. Do you have a regular exercise schedule?

90. How do you track your time?

91. How much do you exercise in a given week?

92. What is your quick and easy go-to breakfast?

93. What do you usually eat for lunch?

94. Do you use ceramic or plastic dishes?

95. Who is an ideal client for you?

96. Do you prefer the city or country?

97. How do you pronounce the word “Pecan”?

98. Where do you consider yourself to be from?

99. Have you ever lived in another country?

100. Have you ever flown on an airplane?
 


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.



Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/100-social-media-conversation-starters/

How to Get Clients? It’s Not a Deep Dark Secret

Leads! I need leads! I need clients! How do I get clients?

get clientsIt’s a desperate cry I hear every day in my Facebook group, the Women’s Entrepreneur Network. Inevitably, when people approach me, they ask if they can pick my brain or ask me for some “tips”.  

I explain that I don’t coach for free and I don’t give “tips” for free because I’d hate to tell them the wrong things that may set them back in their businesses. Also, this is my livelihood, and I live by helping people grow their businesses – for a fee. I’m a professional with a ton of training, and while I may like you, I’m not going to starve my own family to feed yours.  

But what I really see when I watch and lurk in the background is people sitting on their proverbial behinds waiting for clients to come to them.  

It doesn’t work that way. I don’t care how good your mindset is, if you’re sitting on your couch or bed or wherever in your home, and you’re not interacting with anyone, then you’re not taking that inspired action to get clients.  

A good friend of mine, Leslie Flowers, once said “What you want to manifest is moving towards you at the same velocity with which you are moving towards it. If you are sitting on the couch, so is it. If you’re running towards it, it is moving towards you at the same speed.”  

The real cure for “I’m broke”, “I don’t have money” or “I don’t have customers” is to do the work and deliver the goods. I’m not talking about working yourself into the ground, but rather focusing on doing the right things to get clients in your business instead of whining.  I swear, the whining is going to drive me to drink… Okay, maybe only Dr. Pepper.. But still, drinking.

Don’t get me started on the numerous people online who will take your money and half- deliver what they promised. That’s a whole ‘nother rant, but you need to deliver what you promised. Preferably OVER-deliver what you’ve promised to your customers, because no one likes to be stiffed. Unfortunately, I’ve had way too many experiences where people are quick to take your money and then slow to deliver on their promises. That’s not a good look for anyone! No wonder people are hesitant to trust!

how to get clientsIn the famous words of Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no ‘try’”. Whining never got anyone any clients. Sitting around hoping for clients to magically find you or people to fall from the sky to join your team just isn’t going to happen. You know it.  

You either really want something to happen and are going to make sure it happens, or you don’t. There really isn’t any in-between. You don’t “sort of” want something to happen. If you complain that “nothing” is working, most times I can point to what you’re not doing.  That is – not talking to people, not engaging, not being consistent. I know this because, well, I’ve been there, done that. When I’m not talking to people, not engaging and not being consistent, I’m not getting clients either. Funny how that works.  

Oh, and the whining thing? Everyone of us has situations that we’ve had to overcome, and some of us have faced tremendous adversity. It is just life. You either decide you’re going to think positively… or think negatively. Like when I was driving a few weeks ago, and the wheel came off of my car while I was driving. Yes, that sucked, but the good news is that the damage was minimal to my car, and it was easily fixed and no-one was hurt. I have good guardian angels!

So, my challenge to you is this: What steps can you take today to go out and find yourself some clients? How can you start getting leads consistently in your business? Chances are, I could give you 50 ways to do it, but unless you decide to take action and actually do the work, you’re not going to see the results.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?
Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/how-get-clients-not-deep-dark-secret/

Building a Pipeline: 5 Ways to Get a Consistent Supply of Customers

Building a Pipeline: 5 Ways to Get a Consistent Supply of CustomersImagine this – May was your best month ever in business. By July 1st, you are trying to figure out where all of the customers went. I’ve heard it, seen it and lived it – over and over again. Feast and Famine. What happened to that consistent supply of customers?

What if you could change things up a bit? Change things so that you have a more consistent supply of customers in your business?  

That’s where building a pipeline comes in for your business. Sure, you can turn on ads and get leads that way, but that can take time and tweaking to get just right. It can also be extremely costly, and depending on the value of a client to you, it may not be worth it.

So, what is this mysterious pipeline, and how do we get one?

Funny you should ask that question. Pipelines can come several ways.  

Here are 5 ways to build a pipeline with a consistent supply of customers:

1. Affiliate Programs

With this type of program, you can get people to help market your products or services in exchange for a percentage of the revenue.

2. Referral Partners

By building partnerships and a strong network, you can feed your business. This works well for certain types of businesses such as realtors, insurance agents and mortgage brokers, but also for other types of service based businesses, like non-medical home care.

3. Facebook Groups

Done correctly, a Facebook group can be one of the best pipelines for your business, but it can be somewhat tricky to manage. With a Facebook group, you are constantly balancing engagement with time commitment, investment and more. This is something that I love helping clients with because it can be incredibly fun and rewarding.

4. Your Website

With proper SEO, backlinks and the like, you can turn your website into a fantastic lead generation pipeline for your business. It takes time, energy and a really good strategy to grow, but over time you WILL see great improvements.

5. Pinterest

Yes. Pinterest. By using a few techniques to create pins and drive traffic back to your website, you will generate a LOT more traffic and leads. You can also drive traffic back to a landing page or opt-in and get tremendous traction that way.

Building a pipeline doesn’t have to be super painful, but it does require consistent effort and building to make it work to the best of its ability.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?
Schedule a consult with me today.


Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/building-pipeline-5-ways-supply-of-customers/

Why Your Facebook Group is Dead

So, how does a savvy business owner improve Facebook engagement in their Facebook group?

When I talk to other entrepreneurs, they often mention that they want what I have in a Facebook Group: a place where people go to hang out, get information and generally have an interesting experience. People come onto social media to be social, to hang out with friends and have a good time. They may decide to buy something, but they definitely don’t come online to be sold to.

Why Your Facebook Group is DeadMost people choose to lurk in the background waiting for an invitation and the inclination to comment on others’ posts. If you don’t think people are watching, try posting a silly question and see how many people respond out of nowhere.

When I first started my group, it took me months to get good engagement going. It was frustrating to say the very least. There were times when I wanted to pull my hair out because people were joining the group in droves, but it still felt like a ghost town. I’d post something amazing and thought provoking… and NOTHING. I was lucky if I got a ‘like’ on my comment. I had to figure out why people weren’t reacting to my posts and why I wasn’t getting the kind of Facebook engagement that I wanted. And I had to figure it out FAST, because this is my business — and my livelihood!

I mean, why do some people get good Facebook engagement while others get almost nothing? It can be beyond frustrating and seriously make you want to howl at the moon. Truthfully, I was there  at the monitor wanting to scream and shake my fists at it because I’d put up these carefully thought-out posts, and NADA! Zip!

Through my research, I learned a few things. In a nutshell, you need to do the seven things I have listed below to encourage people to start engaging and posting in your group. They aren’t so hard, but once you start learning to do them consistently, your group engagement will go way up.

1. Post questions in your group regularly.

Post thought-provoking questions, or, if you need some ideas, you can borrow from the list of conversation starters that I shared in my blog post.

2. Encourage people to post in your group.

You can do this by messaging them privately and asking them to post. People love to know that their viewpoints and ideas are valued. And they are generally flattered if you ask them to post.

3. Comment on other people’s posts.

Make sure you reply when others post in your group to encourage them to post more. People appreciate getting feedback and love from the group owner.

4. Thank engaged group members via private message.

When someone posts something in your group, take the time to message them and thank them for putting a post in your group.

5. Post good content in the group.

It doesn’t have to be your own content, but you should aim to have at least 3-5 items posted in your group every day.

6. Use Facebook Live to your advantage.

Make sure you use Facebook Live to your benefit. You don’t need perfect hair, perfect make up or to lose 20 pounds before you do it. (I mean, seriously, if that was necessary I wouldn’t be doing Facebook Live all the time). With the way that Facebook’s algorithms currently work, you get seen by more people and are seen as more interactive. Announce in advance when you’ll be going live to give people a chance to hop on and interact with you.  

7. Host regular challenges.

Initiate challenges frequently in your group to encourage people to get results in their lives or in their businesses. People love a good challenge.

Focus on these seven steps with enthusiasm and consistency, and you’ll be growing one of THE best sales funnels ever for your business.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.



Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/why-facebook-engagement-dead/

Marketing Myths: Why the Shotgun Method Isn’t the Best Marketing Plan

I see a lot of small and medium size businesses trying to market their business using what I call “shotgun marketing” as their marketing plan. They are trying to save money, bring in customers and get more business. Sounds good, right? They read up on the latest marketing techniques and then start trying several of them.

When marketing, these businesses might use Facebook, Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, Newsletter “blasts”, and others means. The problem is that they frequently end up having six different people providing services for them. Their website person is different from their SEO person, is different from their Adwords person, is different from their Facebook Ads person, and so on and so forth. They’re probably getting leads, maybe even a lot of leads.  

So, what’s the problem?  

The problem is that without a clear, cohesive strategy, they are likely paying more money than they need to. Say what? Even if they’re using the lowest cost providers in each case, they are likely spending more money on marketing and advertising than if they put together a cohesive strategy that is based on market conditions where they are and how they choose to spend their money. Marketing does not have to cost an arm and a leg.

marketing plan

There are so many marketing myths out there. Here are a few of the more common myths I see and hear.

Myth 1: If you spend enough money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you’ll show up on the first page of Google searches.

Not necessarily. If there are 160 other people who are also spending a lot of money on SEO to get to the first page of Google, it can be tremendously expensive and difficult to rank organically for the keywords you want to use for ranking. You might instead try to employ other strategies that aren’t being used by your competitors so you have a fighting chance to stand out in the marketplace.

Myth 2: You need to be on every single social media platform.

Not so. I see too many people trying to have a presence on every single social media platform. This can drive you straight to crazy trying to keep up with all of the social media platforms. You won’t necessarily drive more traffic to your website or even see customers if you’re not employing the right communication strategy in your business.

Myth 3: You have to have a blog.

Not true. You do not necessarily need to have a blog on your website. Simply having a blog as a “me too” strategy can backfire. You may want to consider other options such as guest blogging, guest podcasting, and becoming a Huffington Post blogger. There are lots of other options that would help you get backlinks to your website, and you won’t have to be as consistent as someone who has their own blog.

Myth 4: Longer posts on social media are better.

Not quite. You want engagement. People may not engage with longer posts, especially when they see blocks and blocks of text. They may elect to keep scrolling rather than reading your post.  

Myth 5: You need to use hashtags on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Please don’t. Facebook’s algorithms are currently not favoring posts with hashtags. I can actually tell when someone has paid to have their social media done, as they have gone crazy with hashtags on their Facebook posts. Most people don’t use them anymore on Facebook or LinkedIn, except for as a joke or for artistic emphasis. Beside that, hashtags make reading a post more difficult. We are already in a battle for the attention of potential clients. So we should make our posts inviting and easy to read.

marketing planMyth 6: Advertising brings in clients.

Not necessarily. Advertising helps build brand awareness, but honestly, nowadays people flip past commercials on TV or scroll past them in the recordings. We flip past them on radio and ignore them completely on YouTube. Paid mass media can be the most expensive way to bring in customers and one of the most inefficient. You need to carefully weigh the cost of bringing in each client, and then decide if a particular method is worth it.

Myth 7: You need an expensive website for your business.

Nope. There are some inexpensive ways to create a website. You can also make do with a single landing page with your information on it along with a call to action. If you can’t afford a website, that’s okay. I’ve seen plenty of successful businesses that don’t have a website. You can create a Facebook Page or get creative in other ways to have an online presence and still get found.

So what is a good marketing plan?

The truth about marketing is that you need an actual and realistic strategy. Almost every shortcoming can be overcome with a bit of creativity and planning. There are very few things you “must” do in marketing and business, and lots of ways to choose from them.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?
Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/why-shotgun-method-not-best-marketing-plan/

What’s All the Hubbub About a Sales Funnel? How Do They Work?

Okay, so what is a sales funnel anyway? Sales funnels are just about the hottest thing in marketing these days. People throw around words such as lead pages, landing pages, drip campaigns, webinars, and email blasts like they’re candy or something.  

Mostly they are really interesting sounding buzz words, but until you start to understand what all the components are, how they go together and why what you really need is a good strategy, all these words are just going to be alphabet soup.  

sales funnel 

First, let’s start with some terminology typically associated with a Sales Funnel.

1. Autoresponder

This is email marketing software that automatically sends out emails after someone opts in or buys a product from you. It can be smart or relatively simple. Smarter software would include platforms like Ontraport. Less sophisticated software would be something like MailChimp. If you have multiple lists, multiple opt-ins, etc, you need to get and implement something like Ontraport. That will allow you the more sophisticated “If-Then-Else” coding to make sure that no one ends up getting multiple copies of the same emails.

2. Video Conferencing Software

There are SO many video conferencing software options out there. My current favorite is Zoom because I can get the Pro version and do webinars. With the Webinar version I can have up to 100 people on the call, or I can do Facebook Live to my business page or Facebook Group. The opportunities for this are endless.

3. Drip Campaign

This is typically a set of emails that are delivered over a period of 7-21 days that encourage contacts to buy. They come with delivering an opt-in or product. You might sometimes see  the terms “autoresponder” and “drip campaign” used interchangeably.

4. Email Blast

I’ll confess, I don’t like this term. It leaves the impression that you are just throwing stuff out at your list to get them to buy. Of course you do want people to buy from you, but blasting it in their face is not necessarily the best way to nurture your list so they’ll want to continue receiving emails from you. So, I avoid the term “blast” as it has negative connotations to me.

5. Newsletter

Companies often send out newsletters anywhere between once a day to once a week, or even once a month or quarter. Sending out fewer than one email per month will make it difficult to maintain contact with your list. Emails should be simple and include relatively few graphics. In fact, most businesses with larger lists tend towards very short teasers, with the rest of the information on their website. They may not have any graphics at all in their newsletter either! All of that lives on the website.

Content is an integral part to a good newsletter. Be helpful, interesting and informative, and you’ll have clients for life!

Types of Funnels

There are many different kinds of sales funnels. They can range from building a large Facebook Group and doing regular Facebook Live sessions for your group to building a large email list and sending emails to your list. I agree that these are useful, but they are also fairly simple to use and implement.

You can also build more formal sales funnels. There are two main types of funnels I see used extensively in the online world.  

1. Webinar-Based Sales Funnel

sales funnelThese funnels are typically implemented by running Facebook Ads, Banner Ads and Google Ads. They traffic users to a sign-up for a webinar or free training. You get people to sign up for your free training, then you sell them your product. Once you’ve perfected the process, you can set it up so that it is fully automated. Then the webinar will run on its own with minimal human intervention. 

In the beginning, you will have to hold webinars on a regular basis. One reason I was able to grow my Facebook group so quickly in the beginning was because I held webinars on a weekly basis for months. When people registered for the webinar, I invited them to join my Facebook group on the ‘Thank You’ page. Then, at the end of the webinar, I again invited those who attended to join my Facebook group.

2. Freebie to Product-Based Sales Funnel

These are fabulous funnels because you can put so many pieces together. You will need a much more sophisticated email marketing service for this, such as Ontraport. If you have a single product, it isn’t an issue, but the point at which you have a multi-tiered sales funnel, you must have one of these services. It works like this: you run traffic to an opt-in (ad traffic, Pinterest traffic, etc). Then, when someone opts in to receive your product, on the ‘Thank You’ page you can offer them a low-cost product. I like $7 as my low-end product.

By adding in a series of emails through your autoresponder and your landing pages, you can get up-sells, down-sells and cross-sells, depending on the prospect’s behavior and what actions they take. It requires some programming of the conditions so that you don’t end up going in a circle or having other programming related issues.

There is, unfortunately, no single right way to build your business. I’ve seen people spend too much time trying to develop the “perfect” sales funnel, and freaking out because it wasn’t all perfect.

Don’t spend too much time driving yourself crazy on this point. Build your sales funnel or give us a call to help you out. And know that it is a process that requires setup, sales copy and testing to get to a completed state and ready to launch.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/whats-sales-funnel-how-work/

The Dos & Don’ts of Public Relations Crisis Management

public relationsThe phrase “PR disaster” was perhaps never used more than it was last month when United Airlines forcibly dragged a passenger off of a flight, not because of any transgression he’d committed, but because the airline had purposefully overbooked the flight.

The video of the incident would have been a disaster in and of itself, but United Airlines truly dug their own grave when their social media representative seemed to blame the victim of the incident immediately after the video hit the internet. The airline’s Twitter account referred to the passenger as “disruptive and belligerent”, despite the fact that the video footage and the witness statements contradicted that.

United Airlines may forever be the poster child of what not to do in the midst of a Public Relations (PR) crisis.

To ensure that your company never follows the same path, here are the dos and don’ts of crisis management.

DON’T Blame The Customer

For a long time, the sentiment “the customer is always right” reigned supreme. Now, any business owner knows that jerk customers absolutely do exist and you sometimes have to bend over backwards for someone who doesn’t deserve such kind treatment.

When you’re in the middle of a public relations crisis, it’s important to remember the old rule about the customer always being right. Now, in the case of United Airlines, the wronged passenger was in fact an innocent victim. But even if he hadn’t been, the decision by the airline to insult him publicly still would have been the wrong one. You never want to look like you’re trying to pass the blame off to someone else, especially someone who’s given your company money. 

DO Communicate, But Wisely

United Airlines wasn’t necessarily wrong for responding to the situation promptly and publicly. It wasn’t their timing or their willingness to communicate that was an issue; rather, it was what they said.

Although saying something irresponsible or blaming the customer is the wrong way to go, staying silent can be just as problematic from a public relations standpoint. People are distrustful of any company that fails to respond to actions or accusations of wrongdoing. Furthermore, in the social media age, people have grown accustomed to lightning-quick responses. People grow impatient and frustrated if you wait too long to make a statement.

You want to think critically and creatively about your response to a situation, but it’s important that you work within a reasonable time frame. Put thought into how you respond, weigh the pros and cons of your words, but don’t wait too long. 

DON’T Be Childish

public relationsRecently, a new cosmetics company turned what should have been the launch of a promising new product into the end of their company before it ever really began. When Evie Blender launched its product, a silicone makeup sponge, it used the common cosmetics marketing technique of sending the product to a slew of popular YouTube makeup gurus to use in their videos.

When longtime YouTuber and makeup artist XSparkage announced on camera that she was underwhelmed by the product, Evie Blender could have just left well enough alone. Instead, they launched a downright childish campaign against the beloved e-celebrity, flooding her social media with petty comments and sending her a cease and desist letter that dishonestly labeled her fair criticism of their product as “libel.”

In the era of social media, this behavior by new entrepreneurs is becoming all too common. Your company’s social media presence ought to be taken seriously; these are not your personal accounts where you can be free to be goofy, sarcastic or petty. When you have a negative PR situation on your hands, don’t respond defensively to individual comments. Don’t engage with internet trolls who are trying to get a rise out of you. The second you appear to be overly defensive or childish, you’ve set the ball in motion for your company to fall apart.

The digital era has changed so much about how we approach public relations, but some rules will never change. Communicate honestly, but never be petty or blame the customer. Be polite, be professional and be honest. Customers don’t have a problem with companies that occasionally make mistakes; rather, what they have a problem with is companies that don’t know how to handle these mistakes.


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Philip PileticMeet the Author: Philip Piletic

Philip’s primary focus is a fusion of technology, small business and marketing. As a freelancer and writer, he is in love with startups, traveling and helping others get their ideas off the ground. He unwinds with a glass of scotch and some indie rock on vinyl.

https://au.linkedin.com/in/philippiletic


Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/dos-donts-public-relations-crisis/

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